The National Safety Council (NSC) has a mission — preventing fatal injuries at home. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) also has a mission — preventing injuries due to defective or dangerous consumer products. Each year, the NSC and the CPSC publish holiday safety tips to help Americans have a safe and healthy holiday season. Earlier this week we cautioned about toy safety and the recalled toys on the CPSC site. Additional safety reminders are always good to consider at this time of year. Unfortunately, there are hundreds of injuries each day during this time of year — doing simple things like decorating our homes. Here are five key areas to consider for safer holidays.
First, avoid fire by taking several important steps. Some traditions use lighted candles on trees. This is considered to be dangerous. The NSC discourages the use of lighted candles that are simply near trees. And never leave a candle unattended. The NSC also urge the use of a strong and stable water-holding stand to maintain moisture in the tree. When the boughs become dry, the electric lights on the tree can cause fire. Artificial trees are a great alternative, but choose one that is certified as fire resistant. The CPSC warns that electric lights on trees should be turned off when you leave your home or go to sleep. They also warn that lights can be an attractive risk to small children, so keep little ones out of the reach of the lights. Do not toss gift wrap or other refuse into a fireplace. You don’t know what you are actually burning when you do, so although tempting, it is not a safe practice.
Second, decorating can be dangerous if not done carefully. If you are putting up your own house lights, have more than one person there to spot you on a ladder. Make sure to use the proper ladder height carefully placed on level ground. If you are putting decorations up inside your home, do not stand on chairs or furniture. Make sure you either have both feet and one hand on the ladder OR both hands and one foot on the ladder. This will help with balance and keep your body more secure. There are many fatal accidents involving ladders every year in our country.
Third, even though you might be very busy with company, remember to maintain good kitchen practices. Hand washing and avoiding contaminated surfaces that have come in contact with raw meat are two big ones. Make sure you have an accurate meat thermometer to test meats to ensure they have reached the proper temperature.
Fourth, do not carry more than you can handle while shopping. And if you live in a snowy or icy environment be extra careful when carrying bags and gifts. Falls this time of year can be very dangerous. Make sure that you are not overloading yourself … make multiple trips to your car if you need to do so.
Fifth, do not drink and drive. Even buzzed driving is considered dangerous and indicates that you are likely above the legal limit of consumption. Arrange ahead of time to have a designate driver if you are attending a party with friends or family. Remember that DUI does not just mean alcohol. It also means medications that impair your judgment and ability to drive safely.
Scholle Law wishes our readers a happy holidays. We are committed to our Atlanta and Duluth communities and the safety of all. We are here to help if you have been hurt or injured in an accident. Please contact us at any time for a free consultation In most cases, we do not get paid until you get paid.